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Old 29-02-2008, 06:02   #16
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I am also 5' tall and helm our cat (Manta 42) regularly. We simply moved the footrest up enough that I can stand on it when necessary to see all 4 corners and handle the throttles. Climbing is not an issue - when you are as short as I am, climbing is a way of life. I even have a step stool for reaching the hatches to open and close them. I just think of it as being vertically challenged, then come up with a means to overcome the "disability".
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Old 29-02-2008, 06:23   #17
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I am also 5' tall and helm our cat (Manta 42) regularly. We simply moved the footrest up enough that I can stand on it when necessary to see all 4 corners and handle the throttles. Climbing is not an issue - when you are as short as I am, climbing is a way of life. I even have a step stool for reaching the hatches to open and close them. I just think of it as being vertically challenged, then come up with a means to overcome the "disability".
Ha ha ha... That's funny, Harriet. My wife has the same outlook.

Speaking to if short people make good sailors, the answer is a resounding, yes! In our last boat, there were places most people had to duck to get through. My wife just walked around as if in a normal house through all those spots. She also had a theory that the boat felt bigger to her since she didn't need as much room. Being smaller on boats is definitely a comfort advantage, except when you run into a problem like the helm.

I plan on installing a 2nd foot rest for my wife at the higher seat setting, once I get the boat up North.
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Old 29-02-2008, 06:24   #18
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We can drive from inside with the autopilot, or take the helm. We would like a better view of our bows, but you can't have it all, unless you design it yourself. I would love a steering station on each side of the boat, but not on the sterns.

If you sail long enough on longer passages sooner, or later you will get some snotty weather. I can't imagine having clear blue skies for 20 plus years.

That's all 4'9" of Mel in 20 degree weather heading south, and her once again after our arrival...........
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Old 29-02-2008, 06:59   #19
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I suppose it depends where & what sort of sailing you're going to do. Based on my observations of the following sea during a transatlantic trip, I decided I didn't want to be 'perched' on the stern of the boat, exposed to those seas. Granted the autopilot will be doing most of the work, but should it go wrong/fail to cope then hand-steering would be the order of the day.
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Old 29-02-2008, 07:23   #20
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HAHAHAH
I'm going to be sure that Cindy sees this thread! Heck I told her the helm wheel was big enough she could be lashed to it and just spin around to change directions! I'm the kind of husband that will play the song "Short People" just to get a rise out of her. By the way I'm 5'8".

Seriously I want this to be as enjoyable and rewarding for her as for me. I've raised the seats with custom made brackets so she could drive sports cars before just to see her lovely smile. Where there is a will there is a way.

Steve
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Old 29-02-2008, 09:28   #21
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Having just moved my Maine Cat 30 from San Diego to Portland, Oregon in January, I can tell you that an enclosed helm station is a truly wonderful thing. The outside air temperature was 40 degrees in 20 to 30 knot winds. We were inside, out of the wind, with greenhouse effect heat, sailing and motoring in shirtsleeves. If we had been exposed, I would have need two ski masks, and multi-layers just to stay reasonably warm.

With the Maine Cat design (both the 30 and the 41) you can see all four corners of the boat for docking from the inside. And when you are at the helm, you are also with your family and friends, rather than separated from them, a big advantage to me.

If the weather is warm, you can roll up the windows and get fabulous ventilation, and also feel that wind on your check (while also eliminating windage).

Everything is a tradeoff, different strokes for different folks.

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Old 29-02-2008, 10:53   #22
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Since we're talking about the helm area, my wife is 5' and a little concerened about seeing out over a cat's 4 points. Mike I did notice on your photo that the helm had a raised deck area at the wheel. Are there other boats that have this and what's your opinion of short people sailing?

Steve
My wife at 5'4" can see when both sitting and standing at the helm. Visibilty is good. If I want to stand at the helm I have to unzip the hatch in the bimini and I'm only about 5'9"
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Old 29-02-2008, 11:36   #23
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It is also probably a matter of age!?
When I was a young guy, I stood at the open helm (fairly good sailing gear) for hours, blowing, raining.
Looking at the pictures nowadays, I ask myself: who the hell is that young, tough man!?
No way for an open helm for me today!
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Old 29-02-2008, 12:00   #24
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It is also probably a matter of age!?
When I was a young guy, I stood at the open helm (fairly good sailing gear) for hours, blowing, raining.
Looking at the pictures nowadays, I ask myself: who the hell is that young, tough man!?
No way for an open helm for me today!
You might have a point there.
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Old 01-03-2008, 07:46   #25
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I have been at open helmed station but no more in the sun or rain It is never comfortable and the movement in the rear is a lot more than being closer to the center of the boat. In poor weather conditions with hard winds I steer the boat and this normally is accompanied with rain so the protection of the saloon i like a lot.
When I was 25 I liked the open helmed station but after severe sunburns and a few years IO have changed my mind.
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Old 01-03-2008, 08:25   #26
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I will admit after years of racing: Cold and wet is overrated.
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Old 01-03-2008, 08:39   #27
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On request we also make a bench for 2 that can be raised and lowered with a foot support for the smaller ones among us and since we have no winches on our saloon roof the visibility is only obstructed by the mast .
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Old 01-03-2008, 09:26   #28
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Great food for thought. Thanks everyone.
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Old 03-05-2009, 13:10   #29
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a very old thread i know, but after reading i had to respond. the OP i believe was initially inquiring about the helm design of the Catana 58 & 65? not so much who is tall enough for what. i too after looking at those two big Cats, that the helm design is completely loopy. there is no protection from anything...at all! while some of the other thread contributors illustrated open helm stations, these where invariably protected to some degree by the deckhouses, and or hard/soft biminis. granted you still brave the elements, but nothing like in the Catana 58/65, where the helm stations are on the outer port and starboard cockpit edges. not even sheilded by the deckhouse to any degree!



while our experience with mono/multihull sailboats is zilch, and Catana is a sucessful, highly regarded brand, this arrangement seems quite undesirable to us. in fact, has eliminated (unfortunately) Catana from further consideration for us. am i missing something??


dog
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Old 03-05-2009, 13:46   #30
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the only thing i didnt like about my cat was the exposed helm .so now i have both exposed and enclosed. and a dance floor .in bad weather i put in the hard windshields and side curtans or mosquito netting,also catch rain water....jt
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